M is for *Melatonin For S.A.D. A-Z Challenge.

Have any of you read the Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson? There’s Netflix series of the same name…???

In the book, a group of people hole up in a haunted house and aim to do an investigation of sorts and all kinds of weird shit goes down. The brilliance of the story is that one never really knows if the hauntings of place and people are true hauntings or the results of a mental disorder. It’s creepy, thought provoking stuff.

When I read it I was shook! It reminded me of something that happens to ME, every Autumn.

DO I live in a Haunted House…..???? !!!

Ha. I wish I was so lucky!

No.

As the Summer light fades to a brilliant Fall, a change comes over me. I know its coming and try my best to stop it but somehow how it always gets me! S.A.D. Seasonal Affective Disorder, known usually as Seasonal Depression.

Even with the typical treatment you hear about, light therapy, vitamins, diet and exercise, cognitive therapy…I turn from my normal cheery, positive self to a hate filled monster. The physical symptoms are bad enough, aches and pains. Low energy. Sleep issues. What bothers me the most is the change to ME. I fixate on people and things in a hateful way. I decide that they are JUST THE WORST and spend all of September and October despising everything and everyone, until I pop up again for air in mid November and realize I’ve been overtaken again.

It all feels so normal when I’m in it. I really believe the things I’m thinking are true and valid. Thank Goddess for self control and clarity. And to all of you suffering with a year long depression disorder. High Five for making it through the everyday.

BUT when I came up for air this past November, I found something very helpful. I don’t even remember where I heard about it … Micro dosing with melatonin. One takes a wee amount, in the late afternoon, like 1mg and carries on like usual. It doesn’t make you sleepy but it does help with
circadian misalignment which is a major part of SAD.

I haven’t tried it through the worst of my seasonal depression but I did notice a positive change when I did in November. I felt better over all, both physically and mentally. I felt lighter and brighter and the usual “last hurrah” of illness that strikes me in February, didn’t make an appearance. That’s pretty amazing since I’ve been dealing with this since I was a child. The true test will be this Autumn and I am ever hopeful! I’m going to take when I notice Summer fade to Fall in addition to all my other treatments. Check back with me here, around mid November for an update!

Now, I’m a nut. Not a doctor. So PLEASE, if you suffer so and think this all sounds very interesting do your own research. Here is a link to get you started.

Untreated S.A.D can turn into something a lot more invasive so I urge you to seek help from your doctor too.

Do any of you suffer with S.A.D in the Winter? What have you found helpful?

March Books-3 & 4.

Hand Wash Cold Care Instructions For An Ordinary Life by Karen Maezen Miller was a delightful little book of loveliness. A quick and easy read but one that you’ll want to savour and read in bits, so as to not miss anything. This book is hard to describe. What is it about? Life. Simple life. Insights into life as it is. The author takes us through her life’s stages and offers sound advice observations. A nice and valuable read.

I read Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate in an evening! So let that be your first indication of my feelings toward this book. On one side of the story you’ve got your ‘river rats’ and on the other you’ve got your “powerful and well to do”. How are they connected? Read the book and find out! The story pulled me straight through -in an evening- and got me thinking about class and adoptions and prejudice and love. Another good read.


Buddhism & Afghanistan

This was my first read this month:

The Lovers- Romeo & Juliet in Afghanistan by Rod Nordland was capably written if not entirely frustrating. Not the writing or the book itself but the situation. This true story tells the tale of a young couple from two different ethnicities who fall in love and then have to fight their families and culture to be together. There are a lot of horrible things that happen to them and others and I find the book hard to read because of that, so be warned. It was eye opening to say the least.

Did you know there were once giant Buddha statues in Afghanistan? This book taught me that. I’m on a mission to learn more about that and I’m grateful for the new knowledge. I had no clue!

Speaking of Buddha:

Buddhist Bootcamp by Timber Hawkeye is my second read this month. A quick read full of personal insights, wisdom and lessons. I follow Timber on Facebook and this is just more detailed versions of his content there. Worth your time, especially if you want to take things in, in small doses.

So far, I’ve read 32 of the 125 books in my reading challenge. I seem to be reeeeeally slowing down but I’m still confident I can finish strong. I’ve got 10 month left to read the last 93. No problem!

Happy Day To You!

Heart Shaped Yums

Boston Pizza had an event on the 14th, for Valentine’s Day. Buy any small or medium pizza ( heart shaped or not ) and one dollar from each pizza would be donated to a local children’s charity.

I like pizza. I like excuses to go out for lunch in the middle of the week. I like celebrating love with my Hubby. I like money going to kids.

We ordered the Viva Italia. The description from their website:

Arrabbiata pizza sauce, pizza mozzarella, Genoa salami, chopped bacon, spicy Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, banana peppers, goat cheese, freshly grated Parmesan and a pesto drizzle.

What we got:

How did it taste?

Damn good! Even with that slightly dark crust.

I’m not a huge Boston Pizza fan. I find the food to be … pretty basic. There is nothing wrong with it, it’s just me. Having said that, I do have a favourite go to whenever the Hubs wants to eat there – Jambalaya Fettucine- and whenever I order it, it is consistently good. That is HUGE for me. So right away the place gets props for that.

This pizza brings my list from one to two. It was amazing! Lots of ingredients, spread evenly over the crust. The overall taste was salty-in a good way-briny, creamy, spicy, and savoury. Not one ingredient overpowered the other. Each one was distinct and everything worked so well together. I even liked the pesto drizzle. I HATE pesto but it was a STAR on this pie. I would order this again. Hell, I’m craving more now!

We didnt eat the whole pie-I wanted to!- because we were saving room for dessert! One dollar from each sale of their Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake goes to a local children’s charity, too. From their site:

Dark chocolate sponge cake layered with milk chocolate and white chocolate mousse, topped with whipped cream and a chocolate coin.


The verdict. Good if not plain. There was nothing wrong with it and nothing overly spectacular either. That didn’t stop me from stuffing my face 🙂

Our service was fast, friendly and efficient. The food was good. It was a great way to spend the lunch hour, that’s for sure.

And because it was Valentine’s Day, I bring you this:

One neatly folded napkin -my husband. And one crumpled messy one-mine.

This makes me laugh because a. my Hubs pointed it out to me, which means he’s gathering insight which is unusual for him. b. this is a direct view inside each of our brains-him neat and organized, me- messy and all over the place c. despite this huge difference and despite some pretty major troubles in our 20 odd year marriage, we’re still here together, living and working and growing through it all ❤

Aging Boy Milk

Boy 30529 by Felix Weinberg was a quick, concise read about the author’s experience before, during and after the Holocaust. I enjoyed reading it. This is a book that feels more like it was written for his family than a wider audience and there is a real different feel here, because of that.

Aging for Beginners by Ezra Bayda is a victim of my expectations. I was anticipating this would be a book about aging. It was … kind of. The author talks about things that happen as we age but the topics were not unlike things that happen as we live! Anxiety, depression, pain, etc. and so to me, if felt like reading over the same old ground. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good read. I bookmarked several pages with interesting quotes or valuable information. I was expecting something a little more specific and that is a ME problem 🙂

Milkman by Anna Burns pissed me off. 1. It betrayed me by starting out strong and interesting if not unusual and unique in style and structure. I thought I had a good one here but as the pages went on and the characters were introduced I lost all train of thought and found myself unable to follow the story. I completely lost interest in the end. 2. This was a Hits to Go! book at my library. I went to another library after choosing this book and found another Hits to Go! book and tried to take it out only to learn, one may only have one Hits to Go! book at a time. I wasted my weekly Hits to Go! quota on a disappointing book. Boooo! Anyway, this book gets mixed reviews all over the place. Some people love it, some people hate it. I don’t have such strong feelings either way. It was just hard for me to read and did not hold my interest after awhile. Too much work for this old brain! 😉

These three books mark six books read in February. I’m off to a slow start this month, it seems. BUT I’ve read twenty-five of my 2019 goal of one hundred and twenty-five so I still feel pretty good about that.

How is your reading going this month? Join me on Goodreads!

Untethered Monkeys

And The Monkey Learned Nothing by Tom Lutz is a quick little read, full of travel vignettes. Each story is highly different from the last and not at all typical. A lot of these tales really stuck with me, and got me thinking. I felt a whole range of emotions and books that do that to me get a high five 🙂 A good read.

I read Untethered by Julie Lawson Timmer in a day. I can’t say I loved it but I kept reading to find out what the heck happened in the end, so there’s that! The characters were unlikable in my eyes but the story carried me along and I really like what the author was trying to convey. I really liked that a horrible practice was brought to light. The ending was brief and a little too pat. That’s always so disappointing. But I’ll survive, I’m sure 🙂 Not a horrible read.

Three books down in February, no idea how many more to go! I’m craving something that makes me love it. Something that I’m eager and excited to read. Will have to check my holds list and see what I can stir up!

Happy Reading!

White Fragility

White Fragility – Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo is a book that been on my holds list for some time. I was something like 23 on 97 holds when I first put it on my list! It finally came in last week and it’s my first read book of February, 2019.

White Fragility is a slim book which really surprised me because it wasn’t slim in content. The author starts out by really explaining racism as a system and how while most of us white people (hopefully!) aren’t cool with any of it, and did not ask to be born into it, we sure do benefit from it and unconsciously and consciously do things to maintain it.

This and so much more is all stated and explained in a very non judgemental way. The author is completely open and honest about her own actions, bias and racist behaviors too. The book is written in plain language and is heartfelt and easy to understand. It’s the first book I’ve read on the subject that cleared away the cobwebs for me. It’s a book I want to read again and again, because the lessons are so valuable and I really want them to sink in to my old noggin.

Even if you think you are not racist, this is an important book to read. Actually, especially if you think you’re not racist, this is an important book to read. There’s special bit about so called progressive people too.

I personally have been examining myself and the system I live in for the past few years and while yes it’s been uncomfortable many times, I’ve survived just fine and am smarter for it. I’m still learning as I go too and I am so grateful to the brave men and women who are teaching me how to do and be better.

I give White Fragility by Robin Diangelo a big shiny gold star of appreciation.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?